The Florida Panhandle rang in the first workweek of the New Year with snow flurries Monday morning.
A deputy from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office posted a video to Twitter that showed the flurries falling at a Lowe’s in Fort Walton Beach. The National Weather Service’s Mobile Office confirmed that light flurries had fallen in northwest Florida.
The flurries may come as a shock to many people in Okaloosa County, coming after Sunday temperatures reached the mid-70s.
“Well, how’s this for a temperature change?” the Sheriff’s Office said. “From 75 degrees at 3 in the afternoon to snow at 3 am. Bundle up out there!”
Temperatures dropped as low as 27 early Monday morning in Crestview, the county seat of Okaloosa. More below-freezing weather is expected in the region Monday night into Tuesday.
The last time the Sunshine State recorded snowfall was in 2018. That snow fell in Tallahassee and forced the closure of schools, governmental offices and a portion of Interstate 10, according to the Associated Press.
Tampa Bay has had a much longer snow drought. The last snowfall to reach the ground here came 45 years ago on Jan. 19, 1977.
You can expect that 4½ decade streak to continue this week. Despite freezing temperatures in the Florida Panhandle, the National Weather Service doesn’t forecast Tampa Bay to dip into the 30s.
It will still be cold, however. Northern parts of Tampa Bay could get as cold as 40 overnight Monday and will remain in the 40s Tuesday. Things will warm up by Wednesday, however, when there is a forecast high of 75 and a low of 60.